2011 Financial Results for Inns & B&Bs

We have had the opportunity at this point to review many Inn and B&B financial results for 2011. I am happy to report that a strong majority report gains in both income and occupancy over 2010 results. The gains are typically below 10% and as high as 16%.  In some ways the abrupt declines in 2008 and 209 have made many Innkeepers smarter.  They are aware of the impact of their web presence and are willing to spend money to engage professionals to help them.

Physically, their inns are getting cleaned up with the elimination of brick-a-brac, canopies, heavy window treatments and, yes, doilies and wallpaper.

Not surprisingly, few successful Innkeepers credit the economy for their successes. The reverse is not the case, however.   Without exception, the minority Innkeepers who continue to see their sales and occupancy decline know that the cause is the economy! It has nothing to do with their out of date  narrow web sites with the small dark pictures and column after column of turgid prose; with the difficulty of navigation with no availability two week calendar and/or the inability to make an on-line reservation.

This group can’t update décor because “all my guests” like it that way. In this day and age. “claw footed tubs” are a sure turn off.  Even the Holiday Inn puts showers only in a majority of its bathrooms at new facilities.

In sum, it is easy to blame the economy, but in truth, Inn goers are getting wiser; much more information is available for them to make informed decisions and grandmother’s house is not high on the list.

Bill Oates

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